Could I be legally responsible for any losses another driver on my insurance policy has whether they are driving my vehicle or theirs?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jan 12, 2012

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Insurance Question from Green Bay, WI

Asked on 01/12/2012

Could I be legally responsible for any losses another driver on my insurance policy has whether they are driving my vehicle or theirs? If I add my boyfriend and his truck to my auto insurance policy and he gets into an accident while driving MY car, could I be sued personally if the amount of coverage wasn't't enough to cover any potential lawsuits? If so, and they other party won the lawsuit could I possibly lose any savings/investments/401K plans and/or have my wages garnished? Additionally, if he gets into an accident while driving HIS car could the same still possibly happen to me because he is on my policy even though we are not married and are both over adults?

Answer given on January 13, 2012

I am going to assume that your boyfriend lives in the house with you.  I would say that a good lawyer could try to attach your assets.  However, the fact that you are not married might make a difference.  This would also depend on the laws for your state.  It is best that you check with a litigation attorney in your state to be certain.  As an insurance professional however, I would suggest that you keep the insurance separate.  That way, your boyfriend’s driving record or any accidents he might have (present or past), will not effect your rates and your insurance history should the insurance company decide to cancel the policy.  Your boyfriend can still drive your car and your insurance will pay for any accidents.  However, combining insurance would mean that you also combine limits of insurance as well as rates.  You probably can get a better rate alone on your own policy.  Also, with separate policies, you don’t have to worry about ever getting sued for your assets.      

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